SHAFAQNA- Some of the rulings regarding Qadha (make-up) fasts and offering Fidyah and Kaffarah (expiation for missing fasts).
In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
It is well known that a person who misses a fast from the month of Ramadan is required to make it up. In addition, sometimes such cases require offering a Fidyah and/or a Kaffarah as well. Therefore, we draw the attention of the believers to some of the most important rules regarding Qadha, Fidyah, and Kaffarah as we approach the holy month of Ramadhan. We ask Almighty God to grant us success in our obedience and sincere worship of God.
- It is obligatory to make up fasts of the Month of Ramadhan that were missed due to an illness, travel, or similar circumstances (with certain exceptions), or intentionally.
- Based on recommended precaution one should make up their missed fast before the next Month of Ramadhan.
- If one has missed fasting the entire or part of the Month of Ramadhan due to a legitimate excuse/reason, but does not make up the missed fast(s) before the next Month of Ramadhan (i.e. over the course of the following year) due to negligence, or had the intention to make it up but due to unexpected excuse (e.g., illness) couldn’t make it, they must make up the fast and offer Kaffarah for delaying the Qadha fast.
- If one has missed fasting the entire or part of the Month of Ramadhan without a legitimate excuse/reason, and does not make up the missed fast(s) before the next Month of Ramadhan, he/she must make up the missed fast, and based on obligatory precaution offer Kaffarah for delaying the Qadha fast. In addition, the Kaffarah for intentionally breaking the fast without a legitimate excuse/reason must be offered (see below).
- A person who is unable to fast due to a chronic disease is not required to perform Qadha but must offer Fidyah.
- A person who finds it excessively difficult to fast on account of old age must offer Fidyah and is not required to perform Qadha, however, if they [absolutely] cannot fast, no Fidyah or Qadha are required.
- A pregnant woman in her last two months [of pregnancy] who is unable to fast due to [resulting] harm on her or the foetus must offer Fidyah and make up the fast(s). The same rule applies to a nursing mother if there is fear of the breast milk stopping [as a result of fasting] and this breast feeding is the only way to feed the new born. However, in the case of a nursing mother who is capable of feeding her child by other means, such as using baby formula, she may not break her fast based on obligatory precaution.
- Fidyah is a compensation offered for not being able to fast. It is to feed one poor person for each day [missed]. For example, one who is not able to fast the entire month must offer thirty (or twenty-nine depending on how many days were in the month in that year) meals to the poor.
- Kaffarah is an expiation for deliberately breaking one’s fast without a valid excuse/reason during the Month of Ramadhan. In addition, a Kaffarah must also be offered for delaying a Qadha fast until the next Month of Ramadhan as mentioned previously.
- The Kaffarah for intentionally breaking one’s fast during the Month of Ramadhan is either to fast for sixty days or feed sixty poor persons for each day missed. This is in addition to being obligated to perform the Qadha fast(s).
- It is permissible to offer the entire Fidyah to a single poor person, but the Kaffarah for deliberately breaking one’s fast without a valid excuse/reason during the Month of Ramadhan must be to feed sixty distinct [poor] persons.
- When it comes to the Fidyah and the Kaffarah, nothing but “feeding” suffices. The amount of food “fed” must be the average of what we usually feed ourselves and our families. According to Islamic law, a single “feeding” must be the equivalent of at least 1.65 lbs. (750 grams) of wheat, rice or dates.
- It is permissible to pay money with the condition of delegating to the appropriate entity, trustworthy person, or the poor person themselves, as long as one feels assured that the food will be bought and offered. It is not permissible to purchase anything other than food with the money.